Cottage near Sommieres, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.Beautifully Restored Character Cottage With 3 Tiered Garden Down To Boat On River, Private Pool!
Please note that the only way that we can accommodate our guests is to have all bookings starting and finishing on a Saturday.
Everything that we, still the relatively new owners, have sought to do since our ownership is to create the ideal retreat for 2 people:
We purchased the house in March 2014. During April/ May 2014 we spent five weeks at the cottage re-furnishing and refurbishing parts of the the inside and outside of the property in order to provide, hopefully, a sanctuary affording total comfort and tranquility for our future guests, as well as ourselves. We did this by: OUTSIDE: ensuring that there were plenty of comfy outside padded recliners and seats, brand new plancha for 2014, 2 outside dining areas plus other seating. The cottage also affords a plunge pool and private access to the river with its own canoe. The original boat was stolen from the river in our absence during early March 2016. We have replaced it with a canoe purchased from Kayak Vert.
The garden is on three levels and so we have tried to make sure that there are opportunities to relax on each. The newly purchased metal seat, by the steps to the river, allows views down river whilst the recliners afford you extended periods to relax in the sun with views upriver. The large cypress trees on the upper level ensure that there is always shade in which to sit on even the hottest of days. We believed that all guests would be spending much of their time round by the new plancha and that has proved to be the case! Our first guests bought a lilo on which to relax in the pool...it is still there as we update this description!
We now have a canoe on the river as explained above! Paddling upstream offers, perhaps, more attractive views and is shorter because of the waterfall that prevents further travel. Both are lovely though! We have bought 2 OKA New England chairs for the patio area and four GARDEN TRADING seats for the main outside dining table. The three tiered garden now has an automatic sprinkling system to give the plants a chance. We look forward to adding to the garden.
It was great to see what a difference the sprinkler system has made to the garden. The front lawn has never looked better ( confirmed by previous owners during their last return visit.) We have taken out some plants that had outgrown their best state and had become a barrier to our views of the river. New plants will now have their turn! The fig tree and cherry tree planted in May are now flourishing as is the wisteria newly planted at the same time. We have enjoyed our time working in the garden during September/October 2015 whilst tradesmen have been upgrading the kitchen. They have also improved the pump house, on the front lawn, in which we keep the water pump, water softener etc for the house's water system.
Bought a canoe from Kayak Vert which our guests can choose to use, should they wish. Put a new wooden platform on the edge of the pool. Bought a new seat to put at the edge of the river. Restored all external lights and added a reading light over the patio area. Renewed all sprinkler systems.
We have had a new patio layed .
PROPOSED FOR MARCH 2017
Replace the swimming pool
INSIDE: ON BUYING IN 2014.
Inside the house we did everything we could to provide comfort and warmth within an enviable environment. We stressed immediately and reiterate now that we are inviting guests to share our home in France (without us, you will be pleased to know). We were determined not to set up a rental home....this is our home in France and is furnished as such.We hoped that all of our guests would share our taste and priorities of provision.
INSIDE UPDATES SINCE PURCHASE
SEPTEMBER 2014: the first major project was to upgrade the bathroom as shown on photographs.
APRIL/MAY 2015: EDF upgraded electrical supply and distribution board. Silence in the meter cupboard and no more inexplicable power cuts! FANTASTIC!!
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015: Total reconfiguration of the kitchen: New floor, new wall finishes, re-wiring, re-plumbing including a new instant hot water cylinder, new stone worktop and supports.
We have not sought to provide an English fitted kitchen in France but rather keep elements of style of the French kitchen we inherited. Rather than go for fitted units we purchased banks of French antique sets of drawers and installed them instead. The appliances remain the same because they work very well. We left the cottage before everything was completed. Indeed we had to defer departure because we had to wait for delivery of the new stone worktop. All that remains is for us to choose a colour to paint the wooden components.....something to look forward to in April 2016!
All the paintwork in kitchen is done so that kitchen is now complete ( Hope to buy a Range some time in the future). Bought a Humax Recorder to allow guests to record favourite UK programmes so they do not have to stay up late to watch them!! Built new frontage to outside store where all tools are kept.
We hope that our 2016 guests will like the new kitchen as much as we do. We are grateful for the positive feedback on the bathroom that our 2015 guests have provided!
Bought new Miele dishwasher to put in the kitchen.
We have now had our first 3 sets of guests and we should like to thank each and everyone of them for their encouraging words NOT JUST THOSE WHO HAVE WRITTEN LOVELY REVIEWS FOR THE WEB-PAGE, but also all the guests who have left lovely feedback in the VISITORS BOOK and sent texts directly to us. The Visitor book comments are now too many to be included in full on these pages. Those included have had to be abridged slightly to fit on the page but the full texts of all comments remain in the book for all to read at leisure!
We should also like to thank all guests for the care that they took of the property throughout their stays. It was encouraging that so many appreciated the input from Luciana, the housekeeper. We have passed on that appreciation during our holiday in April/May 2016.and again during September/October 2016.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL PAST GUESTS WE HOPE TO WELCOME YOU BACK AT SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE.
Top Traveller Review
We fear that you might just have blown it and we are grateful!
Mary and Graham
About the Owner
We had spent all our married lives trying to find holiday properties that provide all that we need as a holidaying couple.
We have been to lovely villas, cottages & apartments but so many were keen to sleep up to 5+... more than we needed!
Having discovered the wonders of France, we sought a LIFESTYLE CHANGE of our own. We are lucky enough to be the owners of a beautiful home on the river and to be in a position to share it with other couples for whom 'especially for two' will resonate.
We love nothing better than sitting by the river watching nature, dining or reading in an idyllic environment!
Taking the boat on the river, enjoying coffees and snacks in charming French villages, walks in the countryside or along sandy beaches are all part of ' THE DREAM WE WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU!'
Guestbook comments from the owner
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR GUESTS FOR YOUR POSITIVE FEEDBACK IN REVIEWS AND IN THE VISITORS GUEST BOOK. THE GUEST BOOK REVIEWS ARE THOSE THAT ARE LISTED WITHOUT STAR RATINGS!
YOUR COMMENTS, IN WHICHEVER FORM, CERTAINLY ENCOURAGE US AND HELP WITH THE DETERMINING OF OUR FUTURE PLANS FOR THE COTTAGE. WE ALWAYS WROTE IN VISITORS BOOKS WHEN WE HOLIDAYED BUT WE NEVER ONCE WROTE AN ONLINE REVIEW ON ANY PROPERTY WE STAYED AT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT NOT EVERYONE WILL WANT TO DO SO AT THE END OF THEIR HOLIDAY IN OUR COTTAGE. OBVIOUSLY WE ARE PLEASED TO RECEIVE POSITIVE REVIEWS BECAUSE THEY HELP WITH OUR LISTING. HOWEVER WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL THAT, AS OF TODAY, EVERY SET OF GUESTS HAS WRITTEN IN THE VISITORS BOOK. THOSE ENTRIES ARE AS IMPORTANT TO US AS ANY REVIEWS ARE TO OWNERS DIRECT. SO THANKS AGAIN TO ALL PAST GUESTS. WE HOPE THAT ALL FUTURE GUESTS WILL OFFER FEEDBACK AS REVIEWS OR VISTORS BOOK COMMENTS.
5 based on 18 holidaymaker reviews
Lovely welcome and spotlessly clean. This is a beautiful cottage in exquisite gardens with lovely views along the river. A perfect place to relax and watch the world go by. Many people write that they will tell their friends - we won't be because it's our secret! Bob and Margaret Garvey
Believe the reviews
We chose this cottage because the description seemed to suit our needs. So often you read reviews to assist you in your final decision, you balance the good against the not so good and then click still fearing that the leap into the unknown you have just taken could be a waste not only of your money but of the time reserved for your precious and deserved break. Well on our experience of this property, believe the 5 star reviews, rest easy and click away. The cottage is all the things it boasts in the owners description and a bit of what they can't boast of, the sense of peace, the sense relaxation in a well appointed home and in secluded and tranquil surroundings and above all when the holiday is regretfully over, getting the true feeling of your batteries being recharged. We stayed for a week and having visited the general area before found plenty of places to visit from this location. In an hour or so you can visit historical sites or the coast with some beautiful beaches. However don't feel guilty if the property lulls you into just lazing there, relaxing with a book in the garden area or dipping into the pool or the river,either in the canoe or for a swim. The cottage itself is all the glowing reviews say it is. One more thing, the owners Graham and Margaret,together their representative at the cottage,Lucianna, were helpful and professional assisting with a smooth transition from booking to vacation. Few things are certain about holiday lettings but I think one thing is about this one,you will probably want to return.
Our ideal holiday home!
This is a true home from home! The location is superb. It is furnished, decorated and equipped to a high standard both inside and out, and at the end of our stay we just did not want to leave! We had lovely weather and thoroughly enjoyed lazy days in the shade of the trees with the occasional cooling dip in the plunge pool! Luciana the local agent is charming and very helpful, providing good advice about local restaurants etc. All in all, without any doubt, one of the best weeks holiday we have ever had! We shall be back.
An idyllic week
I've given the cottage five stars, because there is nothing more I would have wanted - it was absolutely lovely. Spotlessly clean, cosy and fab location.
We took the train to Avingon, and it was an easy car ride over towards Aubais. When we reached the cottage we were delighted - a lovely private spot and immaculately well kept. Graham and Mary clearly love it, and have put a lot of time into making sure it has everything you need. We loved the kitchen!! Spotless, and full of all our favourite gadgets! I even used their cookbooks to make some french classics - great fun.
We had breakfast outside each morning, and often dinner outside too when it was just getting dark. The garden is perfect, a wonderful sun spot and even has a swing! Jumping in the pool was so welcome after baking in the sun, and we really enjoyed having a go at canoeing. It was just so relaxing - words can't describe!
There are plenty of regional guidebooks on the shelves, and lots of local information provided by Graham and Mary - we travelled around every other day, and were in very easy reach of a gorgeous beach, and lots of interesting towns. I wish we had had more time to explore.
The endless small touches really make this a unique place - thank you so much for such a lovely holiday.
Mimi and Charles
It's fair to say that the description and reviews still don't do this beautiful cottage justice. Communications with Graham and Mary were regular, swiftly responded to, detailed and solicitous about our comfort and expectations. Our expectations were high - but were exceeded within minutes of our arrival. Our reception by Luciana, who cheerfully altered her own plans to accommodate a change of arrival time by two hours, was warm and fully informative. Luciana made sure that we knew everything that we could possibly need to before she left us to the peace and tranquility of the cottage. The house is magnificent with high ceilings and big windows giving a real feeling of space and light. It is incredibly well appointed and comfortable, everything is good quality and new, except many of the tasteful decorations which are fitting to a delightful French cottage and very well matched. This is a home which is accompanied by incredibly generous hosting where you are invited to make the cottage your own for your stay. The house is easily placed for day trips and for wandering round local markets (or the supermarket) to pick up fresh tasty provisions. There is even a coolbox you can borrow.
The garden is gorgeous, with several different areas, shaded or open to the sun, all perfect for relaxing. Loungers and cushions are provided - all you need is your beach towel, your sun cream and your swimsuit! The plunge pool is cool and refreshing, very private and is looked after with very discreet visits from Elise. The huge fridge freezer means you have easy access to cold drinks too.
If you're more actively inclined there are trails all around to walk, run or cycle, as well as the river to boat or swim in. We had the most wonderful, peaceful and relaxing holiday in one of the most comfortable holiday cottages we have ever seen. We very much hope to return sometime soon.
Tony & Gill
A Little piece of heaven
Having found this wonderful retreat on Homeaway we were expecting something special but what we found certainly exceeded them, a warm welcome from Luciana was the first joy she knew everything and told us all we needed know,then the house well what can we say except "wow" it was beautiful and well appointed the tiered garden has the same "wow" factor some lovely touches like the plancha and the pool all in all a wonderful peaceful week in wonderful surroundings including taking the canoe on the river and a few days sightseeing plus I must mention the Maje restaurant up the hill in Aubais which served beautiful food.
So I would highly recommend this little piece of heaven and will surely like to return one day.
Excellent communication from the owners
Thank you both for a lovely holiday
Del and Jean
From the Owner
“We first holidayed in France in 2003. The 5 years between 2008 -2013 were on different riversides in the South. The unbelievable peace and tranquility of these riverside holidays persuaded us that we should seek to find our own holiday home within such an environment. The fact that it took us 5 years to find this corner of paradise shows how rarely they turn up. The river was our priority, indeed all 'outside demands' were to be most important because 80%+ of our life in France was to be outside, away from crowds. The photographs say more than we can about our new home!. The interior is unlike anything else we had seen. The eclectic mix of antique and new, comfort-concentrated furniture is what makes it special. The climate is ideal and the two large trees on the upper level afford shelter from the fiercest sun. When staying around the cottage we tend to spend the greater part of the day on the upper level, when the upper level is in shade later in the afternoon we go down to the lower level to read. Going on the river in the early evening is magical and then there are wonderful walks from the cottage before dinner!!”
Activity and Interests
Special interest holidays:
We are loath to suggest that this particular house alongside the river should only appeal to a 'special interest group'. Its unique location means that it will attract as many non specialists as those fishermen who will want to take advantage of their own boat on the river!
We have waited for five years for this house and we certainly have no specialist interest....... other than being in/on the river, eating out in the warm sunshine, reading on comfy recliners, walking in the open countryside and having a lovely house to retire to!
This was another major attraction for us. To be able to get to a range of spacious Mediterranean beaches within a reasonable driving time (1 hour) then walk in the sun with feet in the sea for miles, is a realisation of a major dream!
Nearest beaches are: La Grande Motte & Le Grau du Roi. L'Espiguette, near Aigues Mortes stretches for kilometre after kilometre of fine sandy dunes. The vendors advised us that Sete and St. Marie de la Mer are well known for their wonderful quayside restaurants! We have now visited enough times to confirm this ourselves!!
We have always driven down in the past. It is wonderful driving on the motorways in France! The toll roads are worth the money, if getting down quickly is the aim. One night's hotel stay on the journey may be necessary, depending on the time you get on the Tunnel train or ferry. The house is 10 mins. from autoroute A9. Car is essential anyway!
Flights to Montpellier, Nimes and Bezier are available from different operators.
House is @20mins from Nimes and Montpellier.
1hr 20 mins from Beziers
Most immediate perhaps: 1 km from the village of Aubais, 8km from the mediaeval town of Sommieres, 25km from the unmissable Montpellier, 20km from Nimes, 70km from Avignon,40km from Uzes, 58km from Arles, and 63km from Pont du Gard.
We shall leave booklets on possible visits for you on the shelf of the bibliotheque in the cottage, without wishing to be prescriptive in any way. We shall forward to you, in advance of your stay, a 4 page document of places we always try to visit during our stay at the cottage. Past guests have found these useful!
Lives locally and knows the area very well including the eateries. We have been thrilled to read, in the Visitors Book, of the warmth of character that Luciana has demonstrated to our guests. She will be there to meet and greet, be available to assist you in need and to see you off on the day of departure. For guests staying for two weeks she will arrange a time with you for her to be able to come to change sheets etc.
OTHERWISE THE COTTAGE IS ALL YOURS FOR THE DURATION.
Languedoc is perhaps Southern France's best kept secret: sleepy villages of sun warmed stone houses with red tiled roofs. Consequently it is unspoilt by mass tourism. There is, all round you, magnificent scenery and plenty of opportunity for rambles among herb scented hills, straight from the house or elsewhere. To have your own river is special but there are many other deep gorges tumbling into cool, inviting rivers. The River Gardon and its gorges, are nearby, with swimming, canoeing and more riverside walks. We saw beavers and 20 cormorants roosting on just one tree on the banks near Collias last time we walked to the famous Pont du Gard.
WE COULD NOT POSSIBLY SAY ENOUGH IN THIS SPACE TO DO JUSTICE TO WHAT ABOUNDS! YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES.
|Rental Period||Minimum Price||Additional Nights||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event Price|
13 May 2017 - 26 May 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
27 May 2017 - 23 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
24 Jun 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
2 Sep 2017 - 8 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Additional pricing information
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
This property is fully booked for 2016, We are now booking for 2017.
Booking Notes: OWNERS DIRECT are now offering a BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE scheme that will safeguard you against phishing and misrepresentation if you book any property with them by pressing BOOK NOW on their web page. We have enabled this on our site because it will be important to any new guests who do not know us. It also affords you the extra security that credit card payment allows and which we cannot provide. Those return guests who do know us may continue to book directly with us as you have always done. We would still encourage anybody interested to phone to talk with us before you click on 'BOOK NOW'
We shall forward to you our own Terms and Conditions which will explain your options more fully. We should encourage all potential guests to read the PROTECTION PRODUCTS on the OWNERS DIRECT WEB-PAGES and phone us to confirm our identity before you do anything else.
We shall be advised of any enquiry for our Riverside Cottage by Owners Direct . We shall then make direct contact with the enquirer.
If asked for vacancy information a 'Booking Conditions' will be sent, together with further information to help with decision making for 2017. A Booking Form will also be sent later, depending on how you wish to book. This will be for completion by the guest. A £120 deposit with the booking form will secure the holiday, the outstanding amount should be paid 45 days before the commencement date PLEASE!
Obviously we should encourage you to make regular contact with us. We shall remain available after this early contact to help in any way we can!
This will be Saturday, during the letting period.
Arrivals after 3.00pm.
Departures before 10.00 am PLEASE
Owner's Cancellation Policy
- Available arrival
From the Owner
“ESPECIALLY FOR TWO!.. is the focus for us as we invite guests to share our relatively newly owned French home. We cannot boast of the majestic size of the property but rather we are able to offer assurances that the 130m2 of interior living space has been generously apportioned especially for two people. It is lovely to live by the river, with our own private pool, in the peace and quiet of the countryside and to walk in the hills from home. However, it is equally important to us that we can drive to the numerous thriving markets in the area, sit and ' people watch ' in the coffee shops within villages and towns known throughout the world and enjoy all the beaches a short drive away. We are so lucky to have all these options available to us!”
- Away From It All
- Tourist Attractions
- Fireplace ...
- Hair Dryer
- Heating ...
- Internet ...
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided ...
- Living Room ...
- Parking ...
- Telephone ...
- Towels Provided ...
- Tumble Dryer ...
- Washing Machine ...
- Coffee Maker ...
- Dishes & Utensils ...
- Dishwasher ...
- Freezer ...
- Kitchen ...
- Microwave ...
- Oven ...
- Refrigerator ...
- Hob ...
- Toaster ...
- Dining ...
- Dining Area
- Books ...
- DVD Player ...
- Games ...
- Music Library ...
- Satellite / Cable
- Stereo ...
- Television ...
- Video Library ...
Pool / Spa
- Private Pool ...
- non smoking only
- not suitable for children ...
- pets not allowed ...
- wheelchair inaccessible ...
- bird watching
- paddle boating
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Sports & Adventure Activities
- freshwater fishing
- Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath with Shower, Shower Enclosure
- A newly refurbished bathroom. We have created a new showering and bathing area on a raised platform of large, polished stone tiles. The shower area is 'open' to afford space and there is a Grohe shower unit with hand set as well as the large shower head. For a little more luxury there is a free standing V&A bath with a clear table next to it for shampoos etc. or even a glass of wine.The upstands have twin taps and another shower head for rinsing in the bath. There are double marbled inserted hand basins with tiled splashbacks. The hand made mirror over was initiated when we fell in love with an antique cartouche found at a local brocante. Photos make clearer than any words here! A timed towel-rail for rare days when outside drier is inappropriate. Storage cupboard, plentiful towels etc.
- 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
- Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
- Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 2 (1 Bedroom) Notes on bedrooms: A 14 sq.m bedroom with king size bed, hand made head-board, bedside tables & lamps. Hand crafted, from old shutters, 2.8m x 1.07m wardrobe. Wall mounted TV ( English channels available) and DVD Antique chest of drawers with fine gilt mirror over. 1.24 m exit to garden & car park. A free standing fan is left in the bedroom
- Boat ...
- Terrace ...
- Golf ...
- Kayak / Canoe ...
- Garden ...
- Barbecue ...
- Our predecessors had created a real gem of a property from this former, humble fisherman's cottage. We have sought to be equally discriminating with the quality and comfort of furnishings and fixtures. We could not possibly have come up with a better option for the huge bibliotheque in the lounge. We have enjoyed filling the shelves with our own artefacts and books for you to enjoy. We shall continue to 'update' whenever we can both outside and inside the cottage. The inside changes have already been summarised & photographed but: Outside: The three tiered Mediterranean style garden is what sold the cottage to us: A new, metal bench sits alongside the river, with 2 new recliners nearby. There is a canoe for use by guests on the river. On the upper levels our predecessors had cared enough about the grounds to give us an excellent operational garden immediately. We have had a new automatic watering system installed to try to give the plants a better chance! The 4 metre diameter plunge pool is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the sun and the river view. A large outdoor dining table and chairs are excellent for those essential alfresco meals, morning noon and night. 2015: There are brand new dining chairs as well as 2 large seats on the patio. The plancha, bought in 2014, has proven very popular. 2016/17 We have bought 2 new recliners for the 2017 season to match the two bought in 2014. This affords comfy relaxation on the upper and lower levels of the 3 tiered garden. Outside lights mean that there is never a need to rush in. Scenic walks may be started from the house in many directions. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: There are more of everything than you will need for your stay: sheets, towels, cutlery, crockery etc. The cottage will have been cleaned by the housekeeper prior to your arrival. She will meet you, refresh the cottage after first week, be available to you if you need her for any emergency and then oversee your departure. Otherwise the cottage will be yours undisturbed! We hope you might wish to enjoy having a great, relaxing holiday here.